Abuse awarenes ongoing cause

2016-06-23 06:00
 Members from the Inyanda Youth Network and Cesvi Foundation during the exhibition in Philippi.

Members from the Inyanda Youth Network and Cesvi Foundation during the exhibition in Philippi.

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Art imitated life at the Philippi Business Place of Friday in a bid to raise awareness about violence and abuse.

Behind Closed Doors is the name of the street theatre production staged by the Inyanda Youth group to address domestic abuse.

The play was commissioned by community by community development organisation Cesvi Foundation in collaboration with Cordaid and Community Connections.

Luvuyo Zahela, Cesvi project coordinator, said that the exhibition was aimed at alerting the community of abuse that take place in households and also offered solutions on how to break the vicious cycle.

“In our communities, domestic abuse is hidden and not enough attention is given to the problem.

Another issue is that abuse is often seen as something between two people. The community is not taking enough active steps to address it,” said Zahela.

Cesvi is an Italian socio development organisation which operates around the world.

In South Africa is divided into two; in Philippi they run a support project for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse and the second deals with environmental protection in the northern part of the country, in Great Limpopo Park.

“Our facilities are called House of Smiles, and we have a half way house for the victims. So this is the beginning of many of our initiatives to raise the awareness.

We will be continuing to work with our partners to normalise intervention in our communities where women abuse, murder and general violence is the norm.

The play which features a woman trapped in an abusive relationship but manages to break free despite her emotional attachment, he said.

Zahela said that the mindset in the community regarding abuse must change and that there should be much more focus on the victims.

“What we are currently offering an environment where victims do not get secondary victimization which tends to happen when they go to the police station to report a case.

We are hoping to create a facility where victims can get all the assistance they need in one place such as assistance from Saps, social development and so on,” he added.

Zahela called for active citizenship from the community in order to reduce abuse.

House of Smile is based in Philippi next to the magistrate court and can be contacted on 021 374 0800.

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